A lot of people are starting to drink smoothies because they’ve heard about their benefits online or from friends. The word is spreading fast that these amazing drinks not only taste great but also do wonders for our energy levels, our immune systems, our bones, our muscle and pretty much every other aspect of human health you can think of!
But what is less common is for people to be truly scientific in their formulation of their smoothies. Smoothies are good for you, yes, but it goes well beyond that. The way in which smoothies are good for you depends entirely on what you put in them and that means you can devise a smoothie with a specific goal once you know what all the ingredients do!
To demonstrate this, here are a few ingredients that all have one particular benefit – they greatly enhance your sleep. You can combine a few of these with some other ingredients to make a generally healthy smoothie that will also boost your sleep!
Cherries are fantastic for enhancing sleep because they provide us with a natural source of melatonin. For those who don’t remember their high school biology, melatonin is the ‘sleep hormone’ that we produce in the brain when we’re ready for bed. The more of this you have, the sleepier you get and the deeper you sleep. Melatonin is what you get in a lot of the most powerful sleeping medications but by getting it from cherries, you can get it much more cheaply and without any of the unwanted side effects (like dependence!).
Milk is a great choice for your bed-time smoothie because it can make your sleep more restorative. That’s because milk contains healthy cholesterol and your body can use that to make testosterone. This is especially important for men because it helps with the formation of muscle – but for everyone it can be very helpful in healing. A lot of us also associate milk with bedtime from our youth and thus it can be very soothing.
Health and fitness guru Seth Rogen recommended honey for sleep based on his own observations and this trick quickly took the web by storm. The theory is that honey is a great choice because we need energy while we sleep, or else we wake up with low blood sugar and a headache to go along with it. Honey provides both fructose and sucrose – two sugars that are fast and slow acting. This means that you’ll get energy right at the start of your sleep and also later on when you’re deeper into it. Try adding a little honey to your milk smoothie and see!
Finally, strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and any source of vitamin C can greatly enhance your sleep. That’s because vitamin C is known to increase serotonin and your body converts serotonin into melatonin. Serotonin itself also happens to be good for your mood, meaning you can feel rested and de-stressed before you doze off!